• Short Summary

    Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin declared in Tel Aviv on Friday (24 March) that he saw no need for Israel to change its policies in efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East.

  • Description

    GV Aircraft, with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin abroad, landing, security forces in Jeep cross tarmac (2 shots)

    SV Mr. begin and party move along corridor in terminal

    CU Israeli Defence Minister Lieut. General Ezer Weizman follows

    CU Mr. Begin making statement

    SV & CU Former Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban seated at desk (2 shots)

    CU Mr. Eban making statement

    BEGIN: "Certainly, it is easier, it is easy indeed to accept demands put out by the government of the United States, the mighty United States, and our great friend and ally. But the representatives of Israel, the Foreign Minister and I, and our advisers, felt deeply that we are dealing with methods concerning the future of the nation and the lives of our children.

    EBAN: "In Mr. Begin's own Cabinet, we have the democratic movement for change; we have members of the Liberal Party and the Likud; we have the Defence Minister, Mr. Weizman, who, according to their writings and speeches, are much less dogmatic in the refusal to consider some compromise west of the Jordan. I think that the Prime Minister's return will be the occasion for a sort of spring cleaning in our internal situation. We have to find out where is the national consensus. If our options can include flexibility on the territorial question, then we have a much better prospect for reaching an understanding, first with the United States, and what is more important, with Egypt."

    In Washington on Friday, United States Secretary of State Cyrus Vance told a news conference that Middle East peace negotiations could not advance unless israel changed its attitude on withdrawal from the West bank and on settlements in occupied Arab lands. He said Mr. Begin position that the United Nations Resolution 242 -- adopted in 1967 -- did not require withdrawal from the West Bank of the Jordan would have to be changed for peace talks to progress.

    Initials BB/0245


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin declared in Tel Aviv on Friday (24 March) that he saw no need for Israel to change its policies in efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East. He was speaking on his return from Washington, where his talks with President Carter have been described as 'unsuccessful'. Mr. Begin has refused to yield to United States' demands that Israel withdraw from the West Bank of the river Jordan and the Gaza strip. He was reported to be cool towards the proposal that Israeli Defence Minister. Ezer Weizman made in an interview on Friday that Israel should have a government of national unity.

    SYNOPSIS: The same day that Mr. Begin arrived back, Israel indicated it would start withdrawing troops from southern Lebanon within a week. Mr. Begin returned home facing demands that his coalition government should be broadened into a national administration. Mr. Weizman advocates this.

    Former Foreign Minister Abba Eban gave his views on a national government:

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